Sunday, February 14, 2016

PLN Journal Week 3: Google Ninja Day and The Innovator's Mindset

Last year, my district's Instructional Technology department started a Google Ninja program to gather teachers to share and discover best practices related to integrating technology with instruction. I was fortunate to be included in the first cohort, and I greatly benefited not only from the professional learning, but also from building relationships with other educators across the district.

This past Wednesday, I participated in a reunion of sorts that brought together "ninjas" from my 2014-15 cohort and the current 2015-16 group. As we went through the day, the topics fit in quite synchronously with the material that we have been exploring in SJSU's INFO 233 "School Library Media Centers" curriculum. In fact, there was even a segment in the agenda that was dedicated to Professional/Personal Learning Networks! Just as we have been discussing in our class, the hope is that we continue to learn on an ongoing basis through means including following blogs through RSS feeds, using Twitter, joining Google+ Communities, and more.

At the session, I was also fortunate to win a prize: The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, written by George Couros and published through Dave Burgess, the "Pirate Teacher" who happens to be a well-loved former teacher from my school site. While I am currently reading the book, I was glad to have won it as a librarian since I will be adding it to a professional development collection to share with other teachers.

When opening up The Innovator's Mindset, the quote shared on the first page of the introduction is from Albert Einstein: "Once you stop learning, you start dying." This fits in perfectly with the concept of PLNs. In addition, it lends itself to the idea that we should not only be practicing perpetual learning and exploration as educators, but we should be promoting this inquisitive way of life with our students.

Kouros writes:
If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.
While it may feel discouraging that the institutional school complex changes at a slow pace much of the time, I find hope in the fact that that there has been recent convergence regarding the topics of innovation and discovery. I am grateful to be working during this period of transformation, and in this spirit, I seek out ways to grow a library learning commons program that increasingly nurtures curiosity.

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